How Music Got Its Edge Back: Indie Meets Rap

Hip-Hop and rap are experiencing a strong resurgence of late (don’t call it a comeback!). After years of indie rock and pop ruling the airwaves, young people are looking for a new sound to call their own, branching out into electronic and rediscovering rap.At SXSW this year, fans could catch shows from heavy hitters including Jay-Z, Eminem, 50 Cent, and Wiz Kalifa, as well as lesser-known acts.Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg are headlining Coachella this summer.

The meshing of the indie and rap scenes is having an interesting effect on music. Taking a cue from indie bands, newer acts like Azealia Banks are creating a new sound that could almost be called “Indie Rap.” The Harlem-native’s songs are most definitely “R-rated” and fierce, but instead of rhyming about “thug life,” she raps about urban life, making her badass, but also relatable. It’s that cross-over potential that brings both rap fans and indie fans to her shows.

Urban music needed an infusion of edge to recapture the attention of young people. Hip-hop legends like Jay-Z and Kanye have gone mainstream, getting wider airplay and gaining older fans (while simultaneously cleaning up their style, rapping less about illegal activities and more about luxury lifestyle). Young music fans were looking for something to call their own — music their parents wouldn’t listen to but that they could still relate to. It’s the same reason they’re straying away from the indie genre: hipsters and soccer moms aren’t supposed to like the same music.

In the same vein as acts like Odd Future, Azealia Banks is making her mark by being irreverent and very NSFW, simultaneously alienating older audiences and intriguing young Millennials. The video for her biggest hit so far, “212,” has been viewed more than 7.5 million times, but contains so many naughty…

 
 
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Quote of the Day: “I haven’t had children yet because I prefer to breed with an intelligent female, but none of them are single.” –Male, 30, KY

Instagram is reporting that their first native advertising tests have been a success. According to the network, Taco Bell reached 12.5 million 18-44-year-olds in the U.S. with their campaign, and saw a significant lift in ad recall. Chobani reached 4 million 18-54-year-olds, and was able to shift perceptions away from the idea that their product was only for breakfast. Chobani’s tips for Instagram success include avoiding professional looking shots, and not overbranding. These results echo our prediction that Snapshot Marketing is an essential next step for brands, and that content should fit in with what is already being created by consumers. (Mashable)

Instagram is reporting that their first native advertising tests have been a success. According to the network, Taco Bell reached 12.5 million 18-44-year-olds in the U.S. with their campaign, and saw a significant lift in ad recall. Chobani reached 4 million 18-54-year-olds, and was able to shift perceptions away from the idea that their product was only for breakfast. Chobani’s tips for Instagram success include avoiding professional looking shots, and not overbranding. These results echo our prediction that Snapshot Marketing is an essential next step for brands, and that content should fit in with what is already being created by consumers. (Mashable)

Today’s teens and tweens might be finding much of their entertainment online and in short doses, but in other ways they are being given an entertainment experience that sometimes feels photocopied from older Millennials’ childhoods. Case in point: Sony is producing a reboot of the I Know What You Did Last Summer franchise, continuing the trend of ‘90s films and TV being revisited for a new wave of young viewers. (Jezebel)

Millennials drew the short stick when it comes to economic security, but they may be getting their financial bearings. In 2013, the income of young Americans' households actually rose 10.5% from the year before. In previous years, households headed by 15-24-year-olds generally dropped more than other age groups. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that the recession's impact on the generation is overcome, it is a hopeful sign that not as much damage was done as was feared. (WSJ)

We’re in the midst of a fashion speed tug of war, with some brands leaning into fast fashion and others extolling a less is more attitude. But those brands who feel they need to keep up with the Forever 21s of the world should take note: Patagonia’s “anti-fast fashion” message is paying off. The clothing company has been encouraging customers to buy less, famously running ads that say “Don’t Buy This Jacket,” and their profits have tripled since 2008. (Business Insider)

Teen drug use, binge drinking, and smoking are all on the decline, according to a new federal report. The study found that substance dependence or abuse problems among 12-17-year-olds dropped from 8.9% to 5.2% from 2002 and 2013, and rates of drug abuse went from close to 12% to under 9%. However, the reasons behind these drops is somewhat of a mystery, as the percentage of teens who have seen prevention messages during the same time period has actually declined. (CBSNewsweek)

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